“Therefore as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues, put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” Colossians 3:12-14 NIV
What a beautiful image. To be chosen by God, holy and oh so loved. To be one that demonstrates and is recognized for having high and righteous moral standards. A person with a caring and compassionate heart. Kindness dealing with others. To be selfless, humble in all. To have a gentleness about us and patience in things. What if we were to bear with one another in all things – good and bad? What if we forgave as the Lord forgives and showed mercy to those who have hurt us?
Over all of those things we are told to put on love. Love is what binds the above altogether. Binds them in perfect unity. Basically, there is no way to obtain those virtues that Paul is telling us about in Colossians if we are not pursuing love above all else.
But how can we put on love? “Put on” is a phrase translated from the greek word enduo, which is defined as the act of putting on a garment or a piece of clothing. Simply, we have to put on love every day just as we put on our clothing each day.
If we purposely open our hearts each day to God’s love, we will begin to love others the way He loves us. Then, we can develop these virtues that fall into place when are hearts are in line with His Will.
Love today is sometimes mistakenly defined as a feeling. Over used. Selfish.
Love in the Bible, true love, motivates action. (1 Corinthians 13 gives us examples)
Mark 12:30-31 says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. The second is to love your neighbor as yourself.”
Our desires should be to love and obey God. In doing so, this means letting go of the worlds definition of love. It means putting God above all things. It is to be in the world but not of the world. Not loving the things of the world but being different, as a light where people can see Him.
Choosing everyday to put on love and put away idolatry, covetousness (jealousy), uncleanliness, anger, wrath, blasphemy, filthy language, malice, lying and such Paul mentioned earlier in Colossians is the step to having the godly character of being kind, humble, meek, and patient.
Col 3:10 “and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him.”
That is the key here… we are all created to be like Him, our creator.
Matthew 5:48 Jesus says “Therefore you shall be perfect just as your Father in heaven is perfect.”
Obviously we are not and will never be perfect, morally, but we are to have a love that seeks the good of all and to love everyone, as He loves us. Above all, put on love.